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Senate Proceeding on May 13th, 2010 :: 2:36:35 to 2:55:10
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Olympia Snowe

2:36:33 to 2:36:55( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: i rise to speak today on amendment number 3883, which is now pending, that i had introduced colleague from arkansas, senator pryor, and i also ask unanimous consent that senator pryor be able to follow my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. snowe: thank you, madam president.

Olympia Snowe

2:36:35 to 2:55:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Olympia Snowe

Olympia Snowe

2:36:56 to 2:37:16( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: mr. yield? ms. snowe: i would be glad to. mr. levin: about how long with the senator be taking? ms. snowe: about 15 minutes. mr. levin: how about senator pryor? ms. snowe: maybe five. mr. levin: thank you. ms. snowe: madam president, the amendment that i have introduced -- and we have cosponsors,enator graham and

Olympia Snowe

2:37:17 to 2:37:38( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: senator menendez as well -- would ensure that small business regulations are considered in the process by the bureau of consumer financial protection. i'd like to thank my good friend and the distinguished chairman of the banking committee, senator dodd, for diligently working with me in a series of amendments that have been accepted to this legislation

Olympia Snowe

2:37:39 to 2:37:59( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: that's very critical, to provide small businesses with the certainty assurances that they require, certainly not be regulated by this bureau to the degree that they're not involved in financial products.

Olympia Snowe

2:38:00 to 2:38:20( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the more atenn attentive we're, better that small businesses will be in their ability to create jobs and to survive what is a very difficult and tragic economic environment. madam president, this amendment would ensure that when the newly created bureau promulgates rules and regulations that it fully considers the economic impact that those rules and regulations

Olympia Snowe

2:38:21 to 2:38:42( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: would impose on our nation's more than 30 million businesses who have created 64% of of all new jobs over the past 15 years and no question will drive our nation's economic recovery and indeed we'reepending on small businesses to lead us out of this jobless recovery. and, you know, a jobless recovery is in the a true recovery. we have more than 15 million

Olympia Snowe

2:38:43 to 2:39:04( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: americans who are unemployed or underemployed, and clearly it is going to be small businesses that pave the way towards employment. plain and simple, onerous regulations are crushing the entrepreneurial spirit of america's small businesses. in 2009 alone there were close to 70,000 pages in the "federal register" and the annual cost of federal regulationsow totals

Olympia Snowe

2:39:05 to 2:39:25( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: more than $1.1 trillion. furthermore, according to the research by the small business administration's office of advocacy, small firms -- and this is no price -- bear disproportionate burden, paying approximately 45% more per employee in annual regulation compliance than larger firms.

Olympia Snowe

2:39:26 to 2:39:46( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: so the amendment that we're offering here today would ensure small business fairness and regulatory transparency by first drgt the consumer financial protection bureau as a covered agency under the regulatory flexibility act. so that small business review panel provisions would apply to the burse rule making.

Olympia Snowe

2:39:47 to 2:40:08( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: these -- to the bureau's rule making. these small business panels currently apply to e.p.a. and osha and have been extremely helpful to shape more workable regulations at these agencies for small businesses across america. since 1996, when these small business panel provisions were passed unanimously here in the united states senate, signed

Olympia Snowe

2:40:09 to 2:40:30( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: into law by then-president clinton, the e.p.a. has convened 35 panels and osha has convened nine panels. the findings have helped e.p.a. and osha improve the draft proposals by tailoring regulatory approaches to the unique situations of small businesses. i know there are some that'll argue that my amendment will

Olympia Snowe

2:40:31 to 2:40:53( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: undermine the rule making capacity of the bureau. but, madam president, this simply is not the case. according to the s.b.a. office of advocacy report -- and i quote -- "the panel process does not replace but enhances the regular notice and comment process." end quote. the office of advocacy has also found that these small business

Olympia Snowe

2:40:54 to 2:41:14( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: review panels have facilitated "revisions or a be made to an agency draft rule that mitigated its potentially adverse effects o small enties but did not compromise ththe rule's public policy objective." others have expressed concern that these small business advocacy review panels should not apply to the bureau because

Olympia Snowe

2:41:15 to 2:41:35( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: they applied to no other financial regulatory authority. unfortunately, there is continued frustration by the leaders of the small business community toward government agency and the one-sizfits-all regulation. independent agencies like the securities and exchange commission, the s.e., in its approach to regulation under

Olympia Snowe

2:41:36 to 2:41:57( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: sarbanes oxley and the federal communication commission, the f.c., and its raoul making governing telecommunication telecommunications practices are often cited for failing to recognize their impact on small businesses. this is why it is vital to small business requirements apply to the new independent agency that

Olympia Snowe

2:41:58 to 2:42:18( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: is created and the underlying legislation -- in the underlying legislation. still others will argue that our amendment is unnecessary bause my earlier amendment provides an exemption for small businesses from the regulatory requirements of the bureau. however, we must go further to ensure that rules that the bureau promulgates does not

Olympia Snowe

2:42:19 to 2:42:40( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: unintentionally impact small firms' job-creation capacity. that's why our amendment would also specify during the rule-making process, the bureau must consider the economic effects that its rule would have on the cost of credit for small businesses. now, according to a recent ffib survey -- that's the foremost organization that speaks for

Olympia Snowe

2:42:41 to 2:43:02( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: small businesses -- 42% of small business owners use a personal credit card for business purposes. so it's imperative that small business interests are fully considered when the bureau issues regulation on consumer credit cards, so that however well-intentioned the bureau does not inadvertently cut off vital small business credit sources,

Olympia Snowe

2:43:03 to 2:43:24( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: especially during these tenuous economic times when a recent federal deposit insurance corporation survey noted that banks posted their sharpest decline in lending since 1942, and that's a big issue, madam president, right now because lending is not occurring to small businesses. it's one of the issues that we must address in any small

Olympia Snowe

2:43:25 to 2:43:46( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: business tax relief package and those discussions are ongoing right now with treasury and the administrator of the small business administration karen mills, with chairman landrieu of the small business committee, myself, the finance committee, the leadership of both the democratic and republican side, because it is so critical. and if we can't get access to lending for small businesses, just cannot be created.

Olympia Snowe

2:43:47 to 2:44:09( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: so we don't want to compound the problem with creation of this bureau that ignores the implications when it comes to access to credit for small businesses. after all, all the entities under this legislation, even the smaller financial institutions, all the entities will be covered under this bureau with respect to regulations. we want to make sure that the

Olympia Snowe

2:44:10 to 2:44:30( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: smaller financial institutions' voices are heard because they're the one that primarily provide access to credit for small bu course the credit card companies, who also will certainly be regulated under this bill. we want to make sure that we're not just having the big institutions' voices heard but not the small financial institutions and not how it'll

Olympia Snowe

2:44:31 to 2:44:51( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: affect small businesses throughout the country. just to given an understanding, madam president, how strongly regarded and supported this legislation is, we have a brought cross-section of stakeholders that support this amendment. more than 23 organizations that represent millions and millions

Olympia Snowe

2:44:52 to 2:45:13( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: of small business owners. and i'm going to list them because it's so important, given the support that they are providing this amendment and how critical they think it is to the functioning of this bureau and being cognizant of the regulations that are issued that does not adversely affect the well-being of small businesses during these tumultuous economic times.

Olympia Snowe

2:45:14 to 2:45:34( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: you have the sorks of builders and -- the association of builders and contractors, the hart patio and barbeque association, hispanic leadership fund, the independent electrical contractors, the institute for liberty, international franchise association, the national association for self-employed, the national federation of independent business, the

Olympia Snowe

2:45:35 to 2:45:56( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: national lumber and building material dealers the national restaurant association, the national roofers contracting association, the national small business association, the printing industries of america, the s corporation association, small business and entrepreneurialship council, the society of american floorers, the society of

Olympia Snowe

2:45:57 to 2:46:18( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: chemical manufacturers and affiliates, the tire industry association, the u.s. chamber of commerce, the united states black chamber, the united states hispanic chamber of commerce and the women impacting public policy. as you can see, madam president, a broad array of stakeholders are so concerned about the pending legislation with respect to this bureau that they support this amendment.

Olympia Snowe

2:46:19 to 2:46:39( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: these groups have sent a letter as well to both the chair and the ranking member of the banking committee as well as the majority and minority leadership because they are so concerned about the underlying legislation, the creation of this consumer financial protection bureau and how it will affect small businesses, and i quote from their letter. it says it is an effort to

Olympia Snowe

2:46:40 to 2:47:02( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: prevent unintended consequences by a new agency that could harm the small business sector and provides assurances that small business access to credit is a top consideration by bureau officials as they take on the important task of overseeing our financial sector, end quote.

Olympia Snowe

2:47:03 to 2:47:24( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: to give you, i think, another indication of how supportive and how important these advisory panels are, the ones that would be created in order to review the regulations that would be issued by this bureau, this would be before they issue the proposed rule. that these panels, these advisory panels would be

Olympia Snowe

2:47:25 to 2:47:45( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: created, as has occurred under e.p.a. and as well as osha since 1996. in fact, i should mention just, for example, to give you an illustration of the rules that have been reviewed to these advisory panels that have been created within a 60-day period, i might add, 60 days. they would be required to report to the bureau on their

Olympia Snowe

2:47:46 to 2:48:07( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: assessment of any particular rule before they propose and issue that rule so we can undetand the ramifications. but, you know, for example, under e.p.a., they had rules issued that created an advisory panel on groundwater, radon and drinking water, arsenic and drinking water, diesel fuel requirements.

Olympia Snowe

2:48:08 to 2:48:30( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: just to give you an illustration, we have tuberculosis, and the list goes on. since 1996, these advisor panels as the s.b.a. office of advocacy has indicated in their materials provides extremely valuable information on -- on the real-world impact. and that's important to

Olympia Snowe

2:48:31 to 2:48:51( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: understand here, the real-world impact. the effects of what happens out there in the real world when small business has to digest and to live by and to implement any rules or regulation issued by this bureau, and the compliance costs of these agency proposals. so clearly this will have

Olympia Snowe

2:48:52 to 2:49:12( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: enormous benefits to small businesses because we have a chance to review in advance through these that would be compromised of the rule-making agency. in this instance, it would the bureau, the consumer financial protection bureau, representatives of small business community as well as the office of management and budget information and

Olympia Snowe

2:49:13 to 2:49:35( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: regulatory affairs. so there would be a broad away to examine these rules before they are proposed for the rule-making process. doesn't that make sense? isn't it important to understand the ramifications before we issue these regulations that would have adverse consequences for small businesses as they attempt to survive during these tough times?

Olympia Snowe

2:49:36 to 2:49:56( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: now, the s.b.a. office of advocacy has indicated in their materials with respect to how these panels work -- and i said it takes 60 days. they are required under law by 60 days to make a proposal to the bureau in terms of the ramifications or the effects or other considerations that ought to be incorporated as they issue their proposed rule.

Olympia Snowe

2:49:57 to 2:50:19( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the purpose of the panel process is threefold, and i'm quoting from the s.b.a. office of advocacy. first the panel process ensures that small entities would be affected -- that would be affected by a regulatory proposal consultedbout the pending action and offered an opportunity to provide information on its potential effect.

Olympia Snowe

2:50:20 to 2:50:41( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: secondly, a panel can develop, consider and recommend less burdensome alternatives to a regulatory proposal when warranted. finally, the rule-making agency has the benefit of input from both rl-world small entities and the panel's report and analysis prior to publication. doesn't it make sense?

Olympia Snowe

2:50:42 to 2:51:03( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: it saves everybody a lot of aggravation, a lot of money, a lot of energy that would have to be devoted in the rule-making process. after they issue the proposal rather than before they issue the proposal for the rule-making process. it clearly does make sense, madam president, and that's why

Olympia Snowe

2:51:04 to 2:51:24( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: it has worked so well the e.p.a. and osha, and that's why it works well under these circumstances and most especially during these times when we're creating this bureau that will have wide-ranging effect on financial institutions all across this country that ultimately in -- will affect the mo than 30 million small

Olympia Snowe

2:51:25 to 2:51:46( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: businesses because more than 42% of them depend on credit cards for credit. and we want to make sure that we're considering the consequences of anything that is done. also, the downstream effect of bank regulations would be considered, you know, as well as a potential effect of a regulation by this bureau. you know, when banking practices

Olympia Snowe

2:51:47 to 2:52:07( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: are restricted, they do not just affect consumers. they also affect small businesses, higher capital requirements tighten the availability of credit for small businesses. that's another example of a potential rule that would come out of this bureau that could directly affect small businesses. so it's not only consumers, it's also small businesses.

Olympia Snowe

2:52:08 to 2:52:29( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the regulation of angel investors, a very important issue. in fact, nfib has written on this question because there will be subsequent amendments t address this issue as well. but, you know, the rec of -- the regulation of angel investors also affects the economic well-being of small businesses because of the use and the source of capital.

Olympia Snowe

2:52:30 to 2:52:50( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: i know nfib is concerned about the reduced pool as they have indicated in their letter with respect to angel investors, and many small businesses depend on these individuals who invest to provide the kind of start-up capital in their businesses. there is other significant small entities in the financial products industry who are likely

Olympia Snowe

2:52:51 to 2:53:11( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: to be overlooked in the bureau's rule-making process. the panel requirement will benefit these businesses and will benefit the bureau's consideration of how their rules should be tailored to minimize impact on these businesses while maximizing the intended benefits overall for small businesses.

Olympia Snowe

2:53:12 to 2:53:34( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: madam anything unique to what we don't already know about how important the regulatory flexibility act is overall. every agency is required to consider the effect of any rule of law and how it's going to have implications on small businesses. and in two instances, in two agencies, e.p.a. and osha is

Olympia Snowe

2:53:35 to 2:53:56( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: required to establish advisory panels when it's determined the rules are going to be issued that cld have small businesses, a that gives them the opportunity to have input into the process before this bureau issues those rules. i think it makes a great deal of sense. it's reasonable. it's logical. it averts

Olympia Snowe

2:53:57 to 2:54:17( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: consequences in the onset of the process rather than wait to go see how it then we discover that in fact it depresses the ability of small businesses to cree jobs or to survive. so, madam president, i hope that we could get very strong support for this legislation. i'm very appreciative of the work of

Olympia Snowe

2:54:18 to 2:54:39( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: pryor, with whom i work on the small business committee. he does a great job and has provided a great deal of input into the drafting of this legislation, and i appreciate his leadership. i appreciate the fact that it's done on a bipartisan basis because i think we all recognize the pivotal role that small business plays in today's economy and we'll certainly

Olympia Snowe

2:54:40 to 2:55:02( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: depend on playing a critical role in the future. madam president, i floor and i also yield to the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor: thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. pr want to thank the state of maine. she has been a great leader in small business matters and she and i serve on the small business committee together, and we have been working for, i

Olympia Snowe

2:55:03 to 2:55:11( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: guess, three years now on the regulatory flexibility act and other related efforts to try to

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